Brewers boss pleased with hard earned away pointBrewers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reflected on the 0-0 draw away to fellow promotion hopefuls Southend United and felt that a point apiece was a fair outcome from a game where chances were at a premium for both sides.
"I think a draw was a fair result" he said, "They had a few shots. They had one clear header than my goalkeeper had to make a good save but I think that we had a few chances as well. This is a difficult place to come and to play with that type of character and that kind of commitment and determination was very important. I just said to them, you cant play always play in a very beautiful game. Sometimes you have to fight for what you want and today was one of those days you had to fight until the end."
"They had a point to prove because they lost 4-1 away in their last game and you could see that. They started like a house on fire and we had to come up with an answer. I'm very proud of the boys. We stuck together, at times we could have played a bit better but it was just one of those games that character would shine through if you want to get a result."
A second clean sheet in a row was the platform for a more than satisfactory point on the road as Albion resisted everything Southend threw at them with former Albion target Barry Corr a particular threat for the Shrimpers.
"The defence did magnificently well. It was a physical game and we knew that from the start it was going to be a game of men and they stood high and they stood firm and that was important and needed today." the proud Albion boss continued.
"We do a lot of work on our defensive shape. There is a lot of communication and they like playing together. They work very hard for it and they want to achieve something. You can see that, they are willing. Today it was important that our defence was strong."
"Clean sheets are the platform that you want to build from. You need to stay disciplined and stay within your organisation and if you do that and work hard then you give yourselves a chance."
Helping Albion from a defensive perspective is the role that Robbie Weir is now playing, just in front of the back four in a protective role. The combative midfielder picked up a nasty cut just above his eye late on and Hasselbaink was quick to praise the way the Irishman is adapting to his new role within the team.
"I am very pleased with Robbie. I think he is enjoying it. It is a new role for him but I think he is embracing it and taking it on. He looks like he is enjoying it and I am happy that he is taking everything on board. I think he is doing well and he is a very important man for us."
Going forward Albion looked better int he second half with both Alex MacDonald and Bryn Morris going close from decent chances and Hasselbaink, a clinical finisher in his playing days was quick to offer some sound advice to his attacking players.
"We were a little bit unlucky but they were strong at the back as well." Jimmy said, complimenting the Southend back four. "It is just about being a little bit calm when you get the chances. We looked good at times going forwards. We were solid and that is important."
The point left Albion still in the thick of the promotion race entering the Christmas period but the boss, just over a month into the job is not getting carried away.
"The league table is not important right now." he said, "We are not focussing on it at the moment. There are still a lot of games to play and a lot of points to get."
Since coming in the Brewers have faced almost entirely teams also with ambitions of promotion, with the exception of Hartlepool who Albion put to the sword last weekend but Jimmy is not looking too far ahead as the squad build an even closer bond and team spirit for what promises to be another exciting second half of the season.
"We have had, on paper, a very difficult few games but we need to keep on going and take one game at a time and concentrate on ourselves, not anybody else, just us."
"The boys are very confident at the moment, they want to do well for themselves and for each other. They are working hard and the spirit is very good. That is very important for a successful team."